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Thursday, January 14, 2010


The usual screwball mix (half THE FRONT PAGE/’31; half IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT/’34) doesn’t help this by-the-numbers effort. Tyrone Power is the slick, young reporter; Don Ameche is his hard-driving/fast-talking editor; and Loretta Young is a spoiled heiress with a chip on her shoulder & a foreign-born fiancé. The sole twist in the formula has Loretta claiming Tyrone as her latest beau; cue the hordes of unwanted press attention! There’s nothing inherently wrong with the set-up*, but the pic never recovers from it’s painfully unfunny opening, an extended bit of forced laughter between Ameche & Power. Everything that follows feels too loud and/or over-baked, especially Ameche who tries to make up for his third-wheel part by hoarsely screaming all his lines. Tay Garnett helmed and his sheer professionalism sparks a few solid laughs. He’s great at keeping the supporting players in line while helping them land their comic bits and he even manages to wrap things up with a jaw-dropping tracking shot thru most of the Fox New York studio set (with help from lensman Ernest Palmer). But there’s only so much he can do on this one.

*Darryl Zanuck trotted it out two more times @ Fox; as a musical for Betty Grable (SWEET ROSIE O‘GRADY/’43) and as another Power vehicle (THAT WONDERFUL URGE/’48).

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